Monday, January 30, 2012

Wk 78 - what doesnt kill you makes you stronger

apartment in Teresina
Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

hey thanks for the emails this week... im sure glad jenna is ok. Let
me know if you hear anything else about the situation. It´s really a
bummer that it happened, but really mistakes happen and it sure wasnt
on purpose. That´s one of my biggest challenges is to let things like
this go, but you just gotta pick yourself up, brush off the dirt, and
keep on moving forward. Good to hear that Jade is doin good and Tayton
is in gear for baseball.. hopefully ill be there to see a few games
when i get back. So this week was... kinda difficult. but we are still
alive and healthy so i got nothing to complain about.

Tuesday we did not have district meeting..... one of the other elders
(elder mamani from bolivia) was transfered so he had to have time to
pack the bags... we had an interesting day. we had a member come with
us whose name is george. he is 18, but has a lot of troubles.. he
lived way out in the country with his mom for a while so he is way
behind in school.. but he´s kinda funny.... Anyway, it was a tough day because
really none of our investigators are progressing to well... the ones
that are, are always gone or live far away. so we took him and taught
some less actives and recent converts and made a lot of contacts,
which is hard as well because the missionaries have years here in this
area and all of the people know how to get out of a conversasion and
nobody is interested because they have already met with the
missionaries... ugh it has been a tough week.

Wednesday was talias birthday right? happy b day tal! We had a better
day.. we had a visit with a kid named mateus.. he is 15 and has known
the church for a couple of years. his aunt lives with him and hasnt
gone to church for 5 years. but he has gone to seminary and likes the
church... just his mom didnt let him get baptized yet... We had the
group of members come with us again.. we visited leonardo and larisse
who are doing well.. we marked their day for baptism on the 4th....
that´s if they get an answer that this is the church of god... im
hopin they will. We then had an interesting experience talking to a
girl named Manoela... she doesnt really believe in anything and thinks
there is a God... so it was a lot different then teaching a normal
brasilian who is die hard for the bible and what not... but it was a
good conversation, but very i dont know... wierd? not sure thats the
right word, but she asked for us to come back so thats always good. We
then were passin in the street in the front of Fernando´s house... he
was in his front room holding a box of matches and sweating... we
taught him the word of wisdom the night before, and i dont know what
is going on but i think we got to him a little bit.. though he didnt
go to church on sunday so its hard for him to progress. But that night
we taught him the power of the scriptures.. i just remembered that
primary music of scripture power keeps us safe from sin... and its
true. they are inspired words from inspired men to invite the spirit
into our lives so we have the power to resist temptation... that is
something that i learned on my mission.

Thursday we had our weekly planning as usual... its 2 hours of just
writing and talking.. i dont even know how we do it, but im still doin
it a year and some months later. Our lunch fell through and so we had
to go buy stuff... we later visited a man who is dating a single mom
in the ward. he is a good guy named Valdeir, and he likes the church
and believes its doctrine, but he does not know yet that it is THE
only true church and he said that was very strange to him that the
church would say that.... and it really is a strong saying, but it is
the truth. It is tough to believe, but it is the only one that has the
fullness of the gospel. At night we were supposed to meet up with the
ward mission leader... but he didnt show up. This week was full of
things not workin as planned.

Friday we had a cool lesson with Ana Carine, a recent convert, who
likes to study english. So we grabbed two liahona magazines and one
was english the other portugues and we read them together... different
but good. We passed by leonardo and larisse´s house where we taught
the plan of salvation. The plan really makes sense... like i dont know
how a person could be satisfied thinking that life ended at death...
it just doesnt sit right for me! i need something more. That is
another reason why im on the mission. Knowing the plan of salvation is
a huge blessing... so count your many blessings. It really would be
sad to not know the truth about this stuff... and its even sader that
hardly anyone has a heart open enough to hear and accept it.

Saturday we decided that things werent going to well and that we
needed to fast..... so after lunch we started and the day was pretty
horrible. It was a long day and the sun was hot. Hardly anyone was
home and there were a lot of people out drinking and yeah... we passed
in about 15 houses and only 3 or 4 were home or let us in. Im telling
you that it was pretty tough. I had a headache and i was thirsty, but
i know that the lord is by me every step of the way and that he passed
through worse... who knows. maybe i was just payin off a few of my
mess ups. I just know that the church is true and as long as im doin
my best, thats all i can do and thats all the lord expects of me.

Sunday. For lunch the member wasnt going to be home, so he dropped off
a pizza for us to cook.... we made it and it was pretty good. we then
went to talk with mateus and we asked his mom if he could go to church
with us and she let him... then we talked to fernando who said he was
going to go with his family, then last minute dropped out... I dont
know what to do. But church was good and once again president was
there, but sister dias wasnt. Anyway we had a good meeting we were
leaving and we were walking mateus and his brother gabriel home, and
president said, elder you need to get to know his family and bring
them to church... yeah that was the cherry on top to my awesome week.
We do know his family and he lives with just his mom who knows the
church very well, and his grandparents... It was a tough week, but im
still alive. hopefully we can get our baptisms in on saturday and get
the area moving.. also next week the ward is dividing so its gonna be
a ride.

hope all is well at home... i know this week was hard, but dont worry
about me, without the tough weeks, the good weeks wouldnt exist. Just
know that im tryin to do my best and im workin to get better every
week as a missionary and as a person. There is a lot of room to
improve, but ive come a long way since the start of the mission as far
as the mission goes and its only getting better.

Love ya,

Elder Smoot

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wk 77 - So Much to do.. so little time

--view during the day

-love ya mom! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

--a catholic church in our area

--our group that went with us to teach... and a huge umbrella!

--Our district

--the view at night (the little blue thing in the distance is the
ponte estaiada)

--p day lunch.. pizza and lasagna
Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

Well, as you can guess, this week was pretty good... haha like the

rest of them. Sounds like everyone is ok... thats a bummer that tayton
is sick.. and jade take care of your arm! Jenna congrats on the
diploma or whatever that is... Pretty Sweet! your movin up in the
world. thanks for the email... always puts a smile on my face.

This week was.... pretty much normal. Tuesday was district meeting, we
worked, it was a pretty awesome day... we talked to david who is less
active.. he is a rocker who has long hair and was baptized last
summer... but stopped going. He is hanging out with these gothic dudes
that his whole idea of God and stuff has changed... anyway it was
interesting. We talked to a crazy dude named Daniel. I cant even
explain the visit... but he is like close to 50 years old or so and
lives alone and has no life (sorry i dont know how to explain it
better). At the end he said the prayer and had all of us holding hands
and yeah... we will probably not go back there... i had to bite my
toungue to not laugh. We then got to fernando.. he is about 26 and has
2 kids, but isnt married with his ´wife´. He was super stressed out
though and so we started teaching the lesson and it just completely
changed to how the gospel blesses our lives, and specifically our
families... it was pretty neat.

Wednesday we went to lunch and i met this guy that served in the south
salt lake mission.. man it was good to catch up and he had returned
last december for his work (american airlines) and is getting married
to a girl from our ward... it was fun to talk about utah... but he was
there till december 2010 and he told me about the snow they had that
year.... bummer i missed it! He said it was pretty awesome. We then
had 5 members (4 being recent converts) go with us to teach their
friends again. We taught a family that was pretty cool, a girl named
Larice who started crying and said she was thankful that God sends
support when she needs it and im hoping she´ll get baptized soon, and
then we went to Marcyjane. We were teaching her and she was saying
that she knew the church was true... she read all the pamphlets and
answered the questions. one of the recent converts then asked, `Well
then what´s missing?´ and she said...´just need to mark a date for
when i can get baptized´. Yeah you cant hear anything better than that
as a missionary... we marked for sunday, but it didnt work out.. she
will leave for home for 2 weeks, then on february 4th she´ll get

Thursday we woke up and it was like 75 degrees in our house! I was
freezing! we havent slept with our fans for the last couple days.. it
has been super nice at night! We had a mess up at lunch and the member
asked us to go to a restaurant... so we did. We then taught a girl at
a members house... some neighbor that was at their house when we went
to eat lunch, we asked if we could come back to teach her... so we
did. We taught another guy that is a recent convert, named george, and
it started raining while we were at his house! But we had to go.. so
we got soaked. We were passing in the road, and a guy asked us to come
in and stay dry... so we went. there were a bunch of people drinking,
but they were nice and gave us a towel to dry off, gave us a cup of
juice, then gave us a ride home to the apartement to get our
umbrellas. We then had a meeting at the church to talk with the leader
of missionary works.

Friday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Hope you had a good day. My day was
alright. We didnt sleep with a fan, and we woke up early to shoot some
hoops! there is a court near by, so for exercise in the morning we can
go use it. We played for a little, then went home. We had lunch at the
stake presidents house... it was good. I had to leave the message too
haha. Nothing like leavin a message for the stake pres and his family.
It was a long day.. i dont remember much, but i do remember that we
talked to david again... the dude with long hair. On the way home we
had some drunk guy pass us and say ´your church is going to hell´ haha
good one. We had a good laugh at that.

Saturday It rained again which made the temp. go down which is good.
We taught a family again (the same family where the group of 5 taught
with us. and thats where the big umbrella was). They live right next
to the airport, so we heard, and saw planes passing over our head the
whole time we were there... it started pounding rain while we were
there. After we went and taught Hudson who said he was going to go to
church with us sunday morning... he didnt go though so it was a waste
of time. We went to Domingos to talk to him and his family.. it was a
cool lesson for them and we talked a little about temples and mostly
about priesthood... Just another time that the spirit testified about
the importance of the priesthood and how blessed we are to have it on
the earth today.. also how blessed we are to have temples everywhere!
Here is just pictures that people see... and it is a dream to actually
go there. But really saturdays are pretty tough here... but we made

Sunday we got ditched by hudson.. we were gonna take him in the
morning because he said in the afternoon didnt work for him... but he
didnt go.. said he was too tired. so it was a rough start to the day.
But lunch was good... then after we had a couple of good lessons, then
it was off to church. We had a meeting before church, then church
started. We had Larice there with her brother and a few others so it
was a blessing to have people at church. Marcyjane was there as well.
We had a good meeting and the last person to give a talk was amazing.
He is the president of institute.. i think.. and he talked about being
the light of the world. How Christ is our light in this dark world and
yeah it was a great talk. Also this was the first sunday i saw
president there... I gave him a call during the week to ask about the
endorsement thing... i am actually getting to know him better and i
respect him a lot more as my president.. there is a lot of people that
didnt like him... but really the mission has changed a lot. Everyone
is working hard and president is recognizing it and it has been pretty
awesome the change.

So things are good here and only getting better. I have been trying to
eat better too haha i bought 1 kilo of granola and i like to eat it
with yogurt. its good. And i also wanted to give a shout out to Talia!
happy birthday this week! love ya.

One other thing.. i did hear that i got my package, but he hasnt given
it to me yet... ill get it this week i hope. I also need to do
something for grandma Smoot that she sent in a letter. She asked me to
write my feelings about the book of mormon.. So i just want to say
that i have seen the difference it makes in people´s lives. It brings
a peace and happiness upon those who read it, and these blessings come
from the spirit that we feel when we are reading a book inspired by
God. It brings a spirit that inspires a desire to change and become a
better person. The book of Mormon is a divine testimony that Jesus is
the Christ and is our Savior. It is a witness and a proof that Joseph
Smith was called of God as a Prophet to restore the True Church once
again to the earth. And It leads us to know that this is the true
church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. When you read, ponder and
pray about The Book of Mormon and receive a witness that it is a true
book, you will without a doubt know these simple truths.

Also had one more question... i have a friend (elder augusto) that
wants to know how foreign students can go to BYU and if there is a
scholarship for them so they dont have to pay.. just a question.

Well thanks again, have a great week.

Elder SMoot

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wk 76 - Happy martin luther king jr. day


Ponte Estaiada in Teresina


Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

So i realize i have a few other things to get together real fast so
let me just tell ya real quick about this past week.

Tuesday we had district meeting... and guess where??? Back to Cidade
Jardim. If you remember when i was in satélite we were going there
too. So it was easy for me to find this time. We had a way good lunch
that a member made... and it was a man that made it. Impressive right?
He used to work making food or something so he knows really well how
to make food. We then visited a recent convert that elder stewart
baptized that lived close by, then went to marcos, who lives close as
well and we marked his baptism for sunday... so we taught him the word
of wisdom. We then met up with a member who is 17 years old and we
taught his sister, who is a less active and ended up going to church
on sunday! i was really happy about that. We taught another man named
Rainier who we have been teaching... but he is kind of wishy washy.

Wednesday we went to a members house to do a service project... we
were trying to gain some confidence and trust from the members. We had
a good time spreadin out dirt and we moved a big pile of rocks from
one place to another... I really enjoyed it actually. it was similar
work to what i did in construction with taylor... good times. just one
problem. the lady has like 3 or 4 17, 16 and 18 year old young men in
the house and they didnt help us at all... lazy. I was a little upset
about that cuz they were inside playing video games and doing nothing
and we were outside working... then we called one of them later and
asked if he could do a division with us and said he couldnt cause he
had to stay home and help with the construction... hmmmm. yeah it was
stupid. But we had a decent day. We taught Marcos again and he said
his dad gave him permission to baptize on sunday. We met up with a
recent convert named domingos and we taught marcyjane there. She had
filled out all of the pamphlets that we gave her, about the
restauration and what not, and she was well prepared.. she´ll get
baptized hopefully in a week or two. We got a ride home in the car too
from a person that elder stewart baptized.

Thursday we had lunch and after some neighbor showed up and talked
about how she is a sinner, but god still loves her so she doesnt need
to go to church.... waste of time but whatever it happens. We had a
young man named George stop us in the road and said he is a member of
the church and wants to go back... so we passed on sunday and we went
to church with him and he grabbed one other less active member... it
was pretty cool! We taught another investigator named Emílio about the
Plan of Salvation (i even used that little puzzle you sent to me mom!)
and it was good... just that he is really wishy washy as well. Then
came the rain. We got soaked! we tried to wait it out, but lost
patience. we but are bags in a plastic sack and took off. we went to
teach marcyjane again. She again had filled out the pamphlets and was
doing well. We taught her the plan of salvation as well.

Friday we had another good lunch and we talked to a guy that served a
mission in Rio and got back like 10 months ago and is married... it
was fun to talk about the mission. We then had 5 members walk with us
the whole afternoon. They took us to their friends houses and we
taught a bunch of new people.. it was awesome! ive never had that
before.. we met a new family and lots of new investigators. And after,
we got a ride home in the car!

Saturday was pretty tough.. Its close to the end of the week and
everyone is in the bars drinking and doing whatever. We did get to
talk to marcos and rosa and what not... but the day was really slow.
We talked to marcyjane as well again and she had filled out the plan
of salvation pamphlet... i read a scripture in mosiah that pretty much
said, what is keeping you from getting baptized... and her doubt was
pretty cool. She won a beauty pagaent in Her city of miguel alves and
was going to compete in the MIss Piauí pagent... her doubt or concern
was that she had to wear a bikini in the swim wear part or something
and she didnt know if she couldnt do that as a member of the church...
and we had never said anything about it. So we explained the law of
chastity and what not and talked about how the church counsels it. She
understood and said something like, ya know, the miss piaui could take
me to nowhere if i dont win, but the baptism is for sure gonna take me
somewhere good. It was a good talk and hopefully she´ll get baptized
soon. We then had a meeting at the church and we got lost so it took
like 40 minutes to get there.... somedays im just sick of walking.

Sunday we went to visit francisca in the morning and there was some
dude that showed up and said she didnt want anymore and gave us back
the book of mormon and all of the pamphlets.... it was wierd. Then we
had lunch then went to marcos. He was doing good and we taught him
about the baptismal interview. Everything was set for the baptism. We
went and visited a couple more people then went to get george and his
friend lásaro to come back to church. WE passed at marcos´s house on
the way there and he was trying to hide from us. he wasnt ready to go
then ran inside and told his drunk dad to come tell us that the
baptism wasnt gonna work out today... so it fell through. we got to
church late and a little bummed... but there were a few investigators
that came that were a miracle... it was all good. I saw a couple of
people there from Satélite as well. anyway we taught a couple of men,
Dominos´s brothers, after church which was alright.

today we woke up to rain!! it was awesome. THere is a nice cool breeze
comin through here and it will be nice to just chill today.

Things are goin good and i appreciate the support! love you.

Elder Smoot

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wk 75 - What a week

--leaving parnaiba

--elder pires,,, elder olson

--we got to lay in a coffin.... weird.. but kinda fun. gotta love elder Stewart!

--again.. just they put the top on the coffin.. it was very hot. and
look at that fat! wahoo

--a cool car that was parked at the apartment building

--me and stewart

--the new guys and the bolivian

--our room

--me and elder lima
Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

Well it was quite the week here in teresina... its basically this. Me

and my comp (Elder Lima) we are really pumped and workin hard... i
dont think ive been this pumped on the mission yet and man im sleeping
really good at night. We taught A LOt of lessons this week and it has
been good. Elder Lima came from Caxias, Maranhão that was opened when
he started the mission... so he was really used to doing lots of
contacts and teaching a lot. he has 5 months on the mission, he is
from São Paulo, São Paulo, and we get along well.... We are workin
hard, now we just gotta turn all of these lessons into baptisms...
thats pretty much what we are expected to do.

As you heard last week, on tuesday we had to get up early to catch a
bus... i didnt get to bed till like 2 am (i was packing and cleaning
the house) and i had to get up at 4 to get ready to go... We had a
good member drop us off at the bus station and we were on our way at
5. As soon as the bus took off i felt really sick and had to use the
restroom... but we all know that it is bad manners to use the bus
restroom...anyway, it was a tough bus ride, but we made it alright. We
got to Teresina about noonish.. then went to the STAFF... that is the
main house where the new missionaries stay, people leaving the mission
stay, and pretty much anyone that comes through teresina for a little
will stay at the Staff house... its an apartement on the 6th floor...
Other than all the people that were there, its pretty nice! very cool
at night and has a little balcony area where i like to write in my
journal every morning. i actually went to Elder Stewart´s old area! So
he was there and was going to stay until the next day so i spent the
day with him... getting to know the area. That night we had Elder
Robertson there waiting for his new comp until midnight... man i was
soooo tired.

Wednesday... 1 year and 5 months complete... me and elder lima were
now on our own.. we spent the day feeling very lost and what not, but
we taught a bunch of lessons and made some contancts.... slept really
good that night.

Thursday me and elder lima were gonna go work... but the leaders had a
training so we had all the brand new missionaries with us... we had to
get a member to make lunch for them and i took 2 new americans with me
(Elder Christensen and Elder King) and my comp took one new brasilian
and another Elder (Elder Mamani from Bolivia). So we taught until
about 4 ish and then brought them back. We spent the day making
contacts and teaching some people we met with elder stewart and his
comp elder camargo and seeing some contacts that we made.

Friday we were still pretty confused, but getting the hang of it... we
still were just workin hard, teaching a lot, making new contacts. We
taught this cool recent convert family (the 3 daughters are new
members but the parents didnt baptize yet) and they gave us a ride
home. I am enjoying the area and the members are pretty cool. Me and
my comp are studying chapter 6 of PMG and im reading the book of
mormon in portuguese... i realized i was reading it a while back but
now im really reading a lot and im in mosiah ch. 20ish,.... but its
good. im really enjoying it in portuguese.

Saturday was tough... most of our appointments fell through and the
streets were empty. every weekend its kinda like this. everyone leaves
to drink and listen to music. but we did talk to marcos, who is a
friend of a new member named joão. they have 12 years old and like the
church a lot.. hopefully we can baptize marcos next sunday.... he will
if his grandma lets him. We talked to some police guys that were on
surveilance at night.. so they werent drunk haha. we got home, my comp
cut my hair, i cut his hair, shower, bed. ive been sleeping a lot
better lately.

Sunday was a little different. here the ward is from 4pm to 7. so we
had the morning to study and try to visit some people... we had an
investigator we wanted to baptize next week that we caught drinking
with a bunch of men in the front of her house... i was pretty bummed.
but we had a good lunch at a members house, we went to the church and
marcos came with joao and we had one other young man with 12 years
come and 2 girls that were about 18 yrs old come as well that werent
members. The girls are a sister and friend of a really strong recent
convert named domingos... we taught them after church and they are
super solid.. the problem is that they live in miguel alves which is
about 2 hours from teresina... but if they stay long enough i think we
can still baptize them... we then went and left a message with another
investigator with that same family with the sisters that all baptized
and the parents arent... they gave us a ride home after the visit.

I am loving the area... sorry if its really confusing.. im pretty
confused still too! have a great week and ill do the same.

love ya!

Elder Smoot